Big leap in used car imports

Irish drivers were looking overseas for deals last month...

The number of new licensed vehicles hitting Ireland's roads last month tumbled 12.7% compared to April 2016.

While 16,710 new models were licensed for the first time, drivers were increasingly looking abroad, and secondhand, when making a purchase.

The number of imported used cars was up a massive 29.3% on a year-on-year basis.

According to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), 7,272 imported used cars were licensed.

Ford was the most popular brand to import, followed by Volkswagen and Audi.

The fall in new private vehicle licenses in April continues a downward trend already seen in the first three months of the year.

There have been 10.9% fewer new vehicles licensed for the year to the end of April.

Conversely, the number of used imported cars licensed has jumped 52% overall for the first four months.

In terms of new motors, Volkswagen was the most popular brand with 1,209 private cars licensed.

It was followed by Nissan (1,192), Opel (1,126), Ford (1,086), and Renault (971).

South Korea's SsangYong proved to be Ireland's least popular brand overall, with just six of its cars licensed in April.

There is often a time lapse between registration and licensing, due to the fact dealers are only required to register motors before they leave the forecourt.

When it comes to registration figures, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry recorded a 10% year-on-year fall in sales in April.